Michiganians appear to be crazy about deer. Michigan calls the white-tailed deer its official game mammal. In addition, a moose and elk are depicted on Michigan’s state seal and flag.
Sadly, Michigan’s native elk were wiped out around 1875. Elk have been reintroduced, but there are only about one thousand in the Pigeon River Country State Forest. About 500 moose live in two areas of the Upper Peninsula.
Yet another member of the deer family once lived in Michigan, the woodland caribou. However, the last caribou was killed about 1928.
There is a mammal that’s an even bigger Michigan icon. Ironically, it scarcely exists there. This mystery mammal is the wolverine.
Michigan’s most familiar nickname is probably Wolverine State. Some say the wolverine was once relatively common in the state. However, others say the nickname derives from the 1835 Toledo War between Michigan and Ohio.
The wolverine has a reputation as a ferocious, powerful animal. As the two sides struggled over ownership of the Toledo Strip, Ohioans called Michiganians “wolverines.” Years later, the University of Michigan adopted the wolverine as its school mascot.
State Mammals Home